Name: Laura C.
Recently, someone told me that they had "green mold" growing in the HVAC system
in their office. I was under the impression that fungus is heterotrophic, and does not
contain the pigment chlorophyll because fungi are not photosynthetic organisms. So, what
makes green mold green? For example, Trichoderma sp. is supposed to be emerald green --
do some fungi participate in photosynthesis?
No, no fungi have green chlorophyll or undertake photosynthesis. Green colors are not
common in fungi but might occur from other pigments. Some algae may look like "mold,"
but any photosynthesizing algae would require light, so would not grow in a closed
No, just because a mold is "green" does not mean that it has chlorophyll, which is the
green pigment that is capable of absorbing light energy. Not all green pigments are
chlorophylls. Also, not all chlorophylls are green.
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Update: June 2012